Guided tour

Lonely Planet Experiences: Chicago History and Food Tour

4.8 / 5

15 reviews

Lonely Planet Experiences: Chicago History and Food Tour

From $59 per person

Join us for the ultimate foodie adventure in the historic River North area. From deep dish pizza to Chicago-style hot dogs, this tour will leave you filled with delicious local foods and insider knowledge into the city’s culinary history and culture.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 2 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
Small group
Limited to 9 participants


  • Get a taste of Chicago’s most famous food in one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods
  • Discover why locals have so much passion for their very own Chicago-style hot dog
  • Enjoy a slice of pizza taken to a whole new level in deep-dish form
  • Tap into Chicago’s immigrant roots with a bite of Italian beef from one of the city’s original vendors
  • Share some delicious dessert in a local setting well off the tourist track
Full description
Experience the best travel stories for yourself! Join a local expert and uncover hidden gems on this Lonely Planet Experience. Your Chicago food tour will take you through the River North neighborhood — the original Chicago foodie destination — to sample some world-famous Chicago dishes, local favorites and sweet treats. We start with a very well-known Chicago dish: the Chicago-style hot dog. Perfect for summers at a baseball game (cheering on the Cubs or Sox of course), or for a quick lunch on a work day, this local take on a hot dog is a debate-worthy food in Chicago and is taken very seriously by locals. We will also sample the world-famous Chicago deep-dish pizza! An entire meal unto itself, this staple of the Chicago food scene originated in River North in the 1940s when workers and families needed filling dishes at low prices.  After you’ve filled up on pizza and hot dogs, we’ll take a stroll through two more establishments, each one essential when it comes to Chicago’s food culture. We’ll then continue our tasting journey with a classic Chicago sandwich: Italian beef. This hearty meal came about during the Depression, and it’s here to stay. Finally, it’ll be time for something sweet inside a truly local hangout. Your guide will show you one of the oldest establishments in the city — either a classic Italian restaurant or a local watering hole with deep Prohibition roots. Here, you’ll enjoy a dessert with the opportunity to relax and purchase a beverage of your choice. We’ll conclude your Chicago foodie experience here, with easy access to the ‘L’. Even if you say you’ll never be hungry again, don’t forget to note some great dinner recommendations from you guide.
  • English-speaking guide and a variety of food samples (such as a Chicago-style hot dog, deep dish pizza, and Italian beef).
  • Gratuity
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • You must keep social distance while in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask

Select participants and date



Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Meet your guide outside the entrance to the Historic Water Tower.

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Important information

Know before you go

  • This tour might not be suitable for vegans or vegetarians
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 15 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
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Great way to get lunch, history and anecdotes about the River North area. Fun foods that will fill you up....we weren't hungry for dinner until about 10 pm! Kelly was a great guide providing her knowledge of the restaurant scene and Chicago lore as we walked between classic food destinations and tasted the classic Chicago food: the deep dish pizza, the Chicago hot dog and the Italian beef sandwich.

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December 31, 2019

This tour was great! Kelly was my guide and she was super knowledgeable about the city and the food. The locations she took us to were amazing and all of the food was delicious. I was pretty full by the end, but not too full to eat the dessert she had planned!

December 9, 2019

Recommend for 1st time Chicago visitors

The River North area of Chicago is an area rich in shopping and good food. This tour encompasses the essence of the food the immigrants who settled here brought with and adapted to their new home. We sampled two similar yet different hot dog recipes from two separate restaurants. I’ve never had a hot dog with anything but mustard and ketchup but from now on, I’m going to add some flavors! We sampled deep dish pizza that was world renowned. Our guide, Kelly, pointed out architecture of interest, suggestions of what we could see and experience, and knowledgeably answered all our questions. After our last sample, we weren’t sure if we could handle dessert but unanimously ate it all.

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July 28, 2019

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Product ID: 243127